Voice problems in children involve pathologic problems with the larynx (or “voice box”). They include conditions such as chronic laryngitis, vocal nodules or polyps, inflammation of the vocal cords, and contact ulcers on the vocal cords. These conditions can be identified by an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor.
Voice disorders in children are often caused by vocal abuse such as screaming, yelling, or excessive talking. Other abuses include excessive coughing, habitual throat clearing, speaking too loudly, or using an inappropriately low pitch. These vocal abuses can result in a voice that is hoarse, harsh, strained, or tight.
Pediatric voice disorders are often able to be treated through voice therapy from a trained speech-language pathologist, which usually involves behavioral management programs using positive reinforcement.